Cable & Broadband

Knowing what’s ahead and positioning your enterprise to be successful today and tomorrow are critical to your business. Mintz Levin has been and is at the forefront of administrative, judicial, and legislative proceedings that have and will continue to shape the future of the Internet, cable television, and broadband services. We have the knowledge to help you navigate the rules, policies, and legislation that may affect your business initiatives and the experience to help you make the most of new opportunities.

We represent our cable and media clients in a wide range of regulatory, legislative, judicial, and commercial matters. Our clients include large cable multiple-system operators, major cable programming networks, and national and state cable industry trade associations. Our practice regularly brings us before the FCC, Congress, the Copyright Office, federal and state courts, state regulatory agencies, and local municipalities.

Quick Facts

  • Full-service practice representing cable television operators, cable programmers, and broadband service providers in all aspects of their businesses
  • Focus on federal, state, and local regulatory issues
  • Represent clients before the following:
    • Congress
    • Department of Commerce
    • FCC
    • Federal and state courts
    • Federal Trade Commission
    • Local franchising authorities
    • State cable regulatory bodies
    • State public service commissions
    • US Copyright Office

  • Represent clients on matters, including the following:
    • Broadband policy
    • Cybersecurity
    • Content and digital media licensing and distribution
    • Franchising
    • Litigation with competitors and other parties
    • Privacy
    • Regulatory issues affecting Internet-related transactions and business initiatives

Areas of Focus

  • Regulatory obligations and oversight of cable television companies, broadband service providers, direct broadcast satellite, telephone companies, and Internet-based video
  • Broadband facilities deployment and authorization
  • Internet ‘net neutrality’ and other broadband policy issues
  • Closed captioning requirements under the Communications and Video Accessibility Act for programming distributed by broadcast and cable and over the Internet
  • Content licensing and digital media
  • Cybersecurity
  • Electronic notice under federal and state E-Sign Acts
  • First Amendment and constitutional law matters
  • Intellectual property
  • Local franchising, state regulation and other state and local government oversight and authorization issues
  • Restrictions on ownership of cable, broadband, and media properties and assets
  • Privacy
  • Program access / carriage issues and litigation
  • Rate regulation
  • Rights-of-way access issues
  • Set-top boxes and navigation devices
  • Technology policy and issues affecting Internet- and broadband-related transactions
  • Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) services

Rankings & Recognitions

  • U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers:
    • Practice ranked National Tier 1 for Communications Law
  • Chambers USA:
    • Practice ranked in DC for Telecom, Broadcast & Satellite: Regulatory

Representative Experience

  • Represent a major cable television trade association in a wide range of legislative issues pending before Congress, including privacy, cybersecurity, and broadband network policy, as well as in federal courts of appeals on matters such as regulation of broadband networks, franchising, and leased access.
  • In connection with mergers and acquisitions by cable clients, assist operators with license review and transfer proceedings before the FCC, franchise transfers before state and local regulatory bodies, and compliance with any applicable ownership restrictions.
  • Assisted a number of multisystem cable operators with implementation of, and compliance with, new broadband service disclosure and network management practice requirements adopted by the FCC.
  • Counsel cable operators and cable programmers with respect to the impact of the FCC’s program access rules on their programming agreements and represent them in administrative litigation proceedings brought under those rules before the FCC and on appeal to federal court.
  • Counsel large, multisystem cable operators on franchise compliance and franchise renewals, customer service, notice, consumer protection issues, and rate regulation matters before federal, state, and local regulatory bodies.
  • Advise cable operators and cable programmers regarding the effect of FCC’s program carriage rules on their programming negotiations, and represent them in program carriage complaints brought before the FCC.
  • Assist cable operators in connection with retransmission consent negotiations with broadcasters and associated policy issues arising before the FCC.
  • Represented several large multisystem cable operators in defense of a class action lawsuit challenging the manner in which set-top converter boxes are made available to subscribers.
  • Provide counsel to a number of cable system operators on privacy policy issues affecting their cable and broadband services, including assisting with analyzing and responding to Congressional and agency initiatives regarding interactive advertising and other privacy-related matters.
  • Advise major cable programmers and cable operators on a wide range of issues regarding the programming services they create and/or carry, such as obscenity and indecency issues, how to ensure programmer compliance with the children’s television programming and closed captioning rules, and whether and how to control the content of local advertisements.
  • Advised an association of cable operators of First Amendment freedoms as weighed against the limitations of corporate political contributions and lobbying.
  • Managed the review and production of corporate documents for an antitrust class action case brought by approximately 20 defendants against one of the nation’s largest media companies involving the collection and review of more than 45 million pages of data.
  • Representation of a major cable television provider in connection with a high-profile merger proceeding before the Department of Justice and state attorneys general.
  • Resolved government antitrust concerns and eliminated the need to respond to second requests in acquisitions in the cable television industry, including both cable operators and programmers.

Clients We Serve

  • Large cable multiple-system operators
  • Major cable programming networks
  • National cable industry trade associations
  • State cable industry trade associations